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Check out Innovative House Hacks to Tackle Homeownership Amidst Rising Real Estate Rates

HGTV stars Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein present an innovative solution to the housing affordability crisis.
Cover Image Source: A person holding a key | Pexels | Photo by RDNE Stock project
Cover Image Source: A person holding a key | Pexels | Photo by RDNE Stock project

In the face of skyrocketing real estate costs, homeownership comes with its own hurdles and there's a rising need for creative solutions to tackle them. According to personalities behind a show about cheap housing on HGTV, "Our people are living the American dream of building their own lives and figuring it out." That being said they add that, "There are hacks to the system. If you have that creative American spirit, then you are in every bit living the American dream through a cheap old house."

Pexels | Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

The Finkelsteins target homes priced under $100,000, typically over a century old and in need of restoration. Elizabeth highlighted the urgency of the issue, noting, "The housing system is broken. No one can afford our house right now."

Ethan Finkelstein chimed in, emphasizing the resilience of their approach amidst market fluctuations. "Cheap old houses [have] constantly been insulated from the market of all the swings," he explained. "Now we have super high-interest rates. We're buying houses that are super affordable and low-priced to keep the interest rates down."

Their unconventional method offers tangible benefits. "We have friends who have bought cheap old houses, who have moved from renting for $2,000 a month, who are now mortgaging a house for under $600 a month because they bought a $100,000 house," he revealed.

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A post shared by Preservation League of NYS (@preservenys)


"We love that we're not contributing to the environmental issue we're all facing right now," Elizabeth Finkelstein added. "I think seeing people's lives change through these houses has been incredibly rewarding for us."

Despite the prevalent economic challenges, including supply shortages and surging mortgage rates, the Finkelsteins' "house hack" remains steadfast. Ethan reflected on their journey, stating, "We were restoring buildings during [the lumber crisis], we didn't have price spikes because we were fixing what we already had."

Their mission extends beyond mere property transactions. "It's so much about the people," Elizabeth affirmed. "We love that we're learning how to fix things, and people are learning new skills and feeling like they can do this on their own."

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A post shared by Cheap Old Houses ™ (@cheapoldhouses)


According to National Association of Realtors data, there has been a 25% increase in the median price for existing home sales over the past three years. While existing home sales saw a year-over-year decline in all regions, the couple's focus on affordable, historic homes provides a beacon for those priced out of the traditional market.

Their success story resonates with millions, inspiring individuals to rethink the conventional path to homeownership. "Pick up your bootstraps and figure it out. You're not only preserving history, but you're also getting yourself in the door of a market that so many people feel like they can't access," Elizabeth remarked.

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A post shared by Cheap Old Houses ™ (@cheapoldhouses)


Amidst the ongoing struggles in the real estate market, recent data from ATTOM, a prominent real estate data provider, sheds light on the challenges Americans face. The report indicates a concerning rise in home foreclosures, with 32,938 properties receiving foreclosure filings in February. These filings include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions, and all this requires creative strategizing.